November 17, 2010

One-way trip to Mars

It's a pretty simple premise. It's cheaper to go somewhere one-way. Apply that to traveling to Mars and you're probably saving billions of dollars, right? A professor from Washington State is saying that we should send out astronauts with no real intention of coming back home...

Colonization of Mars would be faster and cheaper if astronauts behaved like the first settlers to come to North America - not expecting to go home, according to two scientists.

Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a Washington State University professor, and Paul Davies, a physicist at Arizona State University, argue that humans must begin colonizing another planet as a precaution against a catastrophe on Earth.

"The main point is to get Mars exploration moving. You would send a little bit older folks, around 60 or something like that," the Daily Mail quoted Schulze-Makuch as saying.

I hate that cost has come into the realm of space travel. Apparently we only want to continue exploring space if it doesn't cost us too much green. Somebody needs to figure out a way to make money with this space travel thing and then we'd have the solar system colonized within a decade.

One thing about the cost thing. Keep in mind we'll have to figure out how to have a self-sustainable colony on Mars, and that might be more costly than just strapping on another rocket for the return trip. Also, do we even have the know-how to create a colony on a hostile planet? Is that even possible at this juncture? We're not talking about a year or two. We're talking about a permanent settlement.

Why don't we focus on the Moon first and do the Mars thing when we're ready.

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